Welcome to Part 1 of 4 in our internship series. In this series we will take you through everything from the search to landing the job.
This can be an overwhelming and stressful time.
I remember what it was like to be in your shoes. By my junior year of college I had held many odd jobs but really wanted to gain professional experience within my field. I JUST needed that first summer internship (or maybe second) to have something to put on my resume and get some sort of work experience.
All of my friends were going through the same thing. By second semester we started to panic, and frankly, our guidance counselors weren’t able to help us much.
Before we get into the search process, we should start by acknowledging that some companies are more organized than others. Some have thought through the internship program and have designated a specific role and duties for each intern. Others just know they need as much help as possible and put little thought into what each intern will do once he or she arrives. Be on the lookout for companies with specific descriptions to ensure you will gain the best experience.
- Prep that resume
Before you even begin your search you need to perfect your resume. Spend a good amount of time on it to ensure it’s thorough, grammatically correct and correctly formatted. Check it. Then check it again. If possible have a friend take a second look. Simple errors will get your resume tossed before it’s reviewed.
- Check your online presence
Review your online profiles from the eyes of a recruiter to ensure there’s nothing that could portray you negatively. Now is the time to take down your crazy spring break photos. If you haven’t already, create a descriptive LinkedIn profile and start building connections.
- Start with who you know
The best place to start your search is within your network. Think about who you know then reach out within your desired field. Ask a connection to advise or recommend to you his or her company. If you don’t have many personal connections find the name of the company’s hiring manager and write an email or LinkedIn message explaining how passionate you are about the company and how you could help solve problems. Beyond personal connections there are numerous online internship job boards. Just think through how you can stand out.
- Applying for the job
Some company websites and job boards will have you fill out a form with your resume while others will simply ask you to submit your resume. Others will also request a cover letter. Take the time to write a cover letter if given this opportunity. This will really help you stand out among other candidates. Directing your application to the hiring manager will make an even greater impact.
After applying you may receive an automated response or a note from HR. If two weeks have passed, it’s alright to follow up with an email requesting a search process update. In fact this shows that you’re excited and once again puts you top of mind.
Don’t worry if on the first try you don’t get your dream internship. You’d be surprised what relevant experience you can gain even from a different industry than your major. Best of luck!
How did you land your first internship? Share with us in the comment section below.
Read More By Andrea:
Looking for a great job at a top start up? Ever dreamed of working at Rent the Runway. To Learn more about our partnership with recruiter Planted and some amazing internship opportunities, [click here].